In news- Recently, the officials have found that the population of the vulnerable eastern swamp deer, extinct elsewhere in South Asia, has dipped in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
Key updates –
- Officials attributed the decrease to two high floods in 2019 and 2020.
- They have also observed that the animal is distributed to areas beyond the Kaziranga National Park and now found in Orang National Park and Laokhowa-Bura Chapori wildlife sanctuaries (Assam).
- During the last survey, it was found that the female eastern swamp deer outnumbered the males by more than three times.
Swamp deer & its subspecies-
- The Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii), also called swamp deer, is a deer species distributed in the Indian subcontinent.
- Populations in northern and central India are fragmented, and two isolated populations occur in southwestern Nepal.
- It has been extinct in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and its presence is uncertain in Bhutan.
- The swamp deer differs from all other Indian deer species in that the antlers carry more than three tines.
- Because of this distinctive character it is designated bārah-singgā, meaning “twelve-horned” in Hindi.
- In Assamese, Barasingha is called dolhorina; dol meaning swamp.
- There are three subspecies of Barasingha found in India –
- Wetland Barasingha, the largest among all the swamp deers of India
- Hard-ground/Southern Barasingha
- Eastern Barasingha
- All the three species of swamp deer vary in dental and cranial features, and a few other features as well.
- Eastern Barasingha, the smallest of Barasinghas, has smaller tail and antlers compared to other subspecies.
- Large off-white hair on the inner side of the ears makes this Barasingha different from other two subspecies.
- The eastern swamp deer is endemic to Kaziranga.
- Swamp deer is considered Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.
- It is considered as Appendix I in CITES.
- It is placed under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.